Cost of leaving a pilot light on?
October 12, 2005 1:37 PM   Subscribe

I have a Vermont Castings propane stove that heats about half my house. I turned the pilot light off in the spring and just re-lit it, a total of 5 months. If propane costs $2.20 per gallon, how much did I save, versus leaving it on?
posted by beagle to Home & Garden (4 answers total)
Based on this, pilot lights use 600-900 BTUs an hour. They also estimate a gas system to average 12 to 15 cents an hour to run at 27000BTUs, so that would make the pilot light cost about .5 cents an hour, or 12 cents a day, or about $18 for your 5 months. That's probably close to what propane would cost, but you might know better.
posted by dness2 at 2:13 PM on October 12, 2005

Oooh - beat to it. Natural Resources Canada sez 600 to 1500 BTU per hour. And according to this, a million BTU is about 11 gallons of propane.

So, assuming it was off for six months, I calculate about $104 of savings, assuming 1000 BTU/hour.
posted by GuyZero at 2:19 PM on October 12, 2005

My landlord does this with the pilot on his kitchen stove. Says it saves $60/year.
posted by Miko at 2:21 PM on October 12, 2005

Don't forget the environmental benefits. Using Miko's figures we get 3.6 million BTUs (5x30x24x1000BTU/hr) = 39.6 gallons of propane. According to this, a gallon of propane produces 12.4lb of carbon dioxide, so you saved 491.04 pounds of CO2.

It has been estimated that in the UK, electronic items left on standby cost consumers about £100 million in electricity each year. It has also been suggested that the extra demand this creates is equivalent to the output of a nuclear reactor. This paper suggests that devices on stand-by may account for as much as 6% of total domestic electrical demand in the UK.
posted by biffa at 7:09 AM on October 13, 2005

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